SMART GRID: Xcel Energy is helping lead efforts in Minnesota to modernize the state’s power grid, recently proposing a new software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation. (Midwest Energy News)

FRAC SAND: Wisconsin’s environmental agency authorizes a Georgia timber company’s plan to fill more than 16 acres of wetlands in order to build a $65 million frac sand facility. (LaCrosse Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Smart Cities Technologies in Wisconsin is taking place on June 6 in Milwaukee. Organized by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the City of Milwaukee, this workshop will explore how cities like Milwaukee are adopting Smart Cities Technologies. Register before June 2. ***

PIPELINES: A federal judge dismisses a civil suit against the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and four others for allegedly impeding construction on the Dakota Access pipeline. (Bismarck Tribune)

SOLAR: Plans move forward for what will be the fourth and fifth solar gardens built in Winona County, Minnesota. (Winona Daily News) 

OIL AND GAS: An attorney says thousands of emails deleted by the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division could constitute a felony for destroying public records. (Bismarck Tribune)

• Advocates are concerned about potential flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and the risk posed to coal ash storage sites. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Two Illinois colleges are set to open a coal mining safety training program. (Southern Illinoisan)

TRANSPORTATION: Ford says it will invest $350 million at a Michigan plant that builds transmissions that can help achieve better fuel efficiency. (Associated Press)

ADVOCACY: A Minnesota resident is recognized by the national chapter of the Sierra Club for her advocacy work on ending the use of fossil fuels. (St. Cloud Times)

• A Danish company plans to invest another $36 million in its eastern Nebraska ethanol plant, seeing continued growth in the sector. (Omaha World-Herald)
• The Biotechnology Innovation Organization calls on the U.S. EPA to “improve its implementation” of the Renewable Fuel Standard and offers a series of recommendations. (Biofuels Digest)

CLIMATE: Sixty-one percent of Americans say the U.S. should remain in the Paris climate agreement, according to a recent poll. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY: A solar advocate says Illinois is among states that are finding “innovative ways to overcome the barriers that face low-income families in being able to access clean-energy resources.” (Governing)

CORRECTION: An item in Friday’s digest incorrectly stated the amount of solar projects NRG has completed in Minnesota. It is 32 MW.

Andy compiles the Midwest Energy News digest and was a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News from 2014-2020. He is managing editor of MiBiz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was formerly a reporter and editor at City Pulse, Lansing’s alternative newsweekly.

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